Fabio Borini is expected to undergo a medical at Sunderland today after the Black Cats agreed a £10million fee for the Liverpool striker.
Senior Sunderland sources indicated late last week that it was highly unlikely the Black Cats would re-sign former loanee Borini before the transfer deadline after making an enquiry with Liverpool earlier this month.
Borini was keeping his option open to see what developed in the final days of the transfer window, with Serie A pair Inter Milan and Fiorentina both interested, while Sunderland were were wary of putting all their efforts into the Italian, who rejected a £14million move to the Stadium of Light 12 months ago.
But Liverpool accepted a £10m offer – including add-ons – from Sunderland yesterday and Borini is due on Wearside later today to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.
Borini made just four Premier League starts for Liverpool after declining Sunderland’s advances last summer, but it has been increasingly clear that his career on Merseyside is over.
The 24-year-old has been training away from the first-team squad this summer and while he turned Sunderland down 12 months ago, he has remained on good terms with Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton.
Borini immediately told Congerton last summer that he wanted to play Champions League football at Liverpool, but ex-head coach Gus Poyet refused to take no for an answer.
This time, it appears that Sunderland are finally closing in on the striker, who netted 10 goals and was voted Young Player of the Year during his loan stint in 2013-14.
However, there remains a possibility that Inter could revive their interest in Borini, although they will have to be quick, with the Italian transfer window closing tonight.
It could be a case of one striker in and one striker out for Sunderland before the deadline, with Steven Fletcher again linked with a loan switch to SPL champions Celtic.
Celtic were interested in Fletcher earlier this summer, but admitted they couldn’t afford to sign the Scottish international on a permanent deal due to his wage demands.
But reports north of the border today have indicated that Celtic have come back in for Fletcher and are ready to pay a percentage of his wages on a season-long loan, which would take the 28-year-old to the end of his Sunderland contract.